“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
Would you consider yourself a tolerant person? We tend to define “tolerance” as being broadminded, open to the opinions of others, willing to embrace ideas different from our own. In today’s society, this is looked upon as a good thing—the sign of an intelligent person on the cutting edge of culture.
But is it, really?
When I look at Jesus in the Bible, I don’t see much tolerance. On the contrary, I see quite a bit of intolerance. For example, Jesus had zero tolerance toward sin (1 Corinthians 15: 34). Zero tolerance about the way to be saved (John 14: 6; Acts 4: 12). Zero tolerance toward the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23: 25).
So, why is it that the Church as a whole champions tolerance? Have we succumbed to the ways of the world, to our peril?
I would like to posit that the Church as a whole champions tolerance for the following reasons:
1–The Church does not know the Word of God. Many, if not most, Christians get their knowledge of the Word only from their pastor’s Sunday morning sermon. To know the Word of God requires daily and diligent study on one’s own, including meditation and memorization of the Word. We must hide the Word in our hearts so that we will not sin against God (Psalm 119: 11) and so that we will make wise decisions (Psalm 119: 105).
2–The Church does not obey the Word of God. If the Church does not know the Word of God, how can the Church obey the Word of God? We cannot obey what we do not know. Obedience is the bedrock of the Christian life. We must not only hear the Word; we must also obey the Word (James 1: 22). Otherwise, we will deceive ourselves (ibid.).
3–The Church does not truly love God. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14: 15). But how many of us are truly obeying the Lord’s every commandment? And if we don’t know what His Word says, we won’t know what to obey. Hence, we will disobey, even if it is out of ignorance. But this is no excuse.
While there is a place for tolerance in the sense of give-and-take in a relationship and in bearing one another’s burdens, there is no place for tolerance when it comes to following the narrow way of Christ. In Romans 12: 2, Jesus warned us against conforming to the ways of the world. One such way is the way of tolerance.
Don’t be caught in its deadly trap!
Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you caught in the deadly trap of tolerance? How will you get out? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!
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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.
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